Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: National Climate Plan Should Come with a Balance Sheet

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: National Climate Plan Should Come with a Balance Sheet

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: National climate plan should come with a balance sheet

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Dec. 8:

When the first ministers unveil the new national climate plan on Friday, they will be participating in the recent Canadian tradition of positive half-measures on the environment.

The promised list of emissions-reducing actions will reflect recent environmental strides at all levels of government, in most parts of the country. It may very well prove to be what Ottawa has promised: a set of policies sufficient to make good on our modest Paris commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Sadly, however, it will apparently provide no way for the government or the public to evaluate whether or not that's the case. A federal source told the Canadian Press this week that the first ministers will not include in their announcement a detailed accounting of how Canada will get from here to its Paris goals.

That's a shame. The Trudeau government's promise to impose a floor price on carbon, and its agreement to move away from coal, in addition to the substantial moves made by most provinces in recent years to curb emissions, will very likely shift Canada's climate dial. But a plan that doesn't take into account the consequences of decisions that push us in the opposite direction is hardly a plan at all.

Since taking office, the Trudeau government has approved several energy projects, from the Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas plant to the Trans Mountain pipeline, that are expected to significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, neutralizing some of the promised gains.

The government insists these projects are consistent with our climate targets, but in the absence of a comprehensive accounting, how can it or the public be sure? The same goes for future projects. …

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